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Re: Question about Traceability

From: Mike Prorock <mprorock@mesur.io>
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2021 10:56:51 -0400
Message-ID: <CAGJKSNTZ-kciwGTB-MjabN=GHxpuN30p=bCyFftZj=tyGKj8dQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Charles E. Lehner" <charles.lehner@spruceid.com>
Cc: W3C Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Excellent callout Charles.  Happy to discuss those elements a bit on the
intro call.

The focus for the call is actually just on the VC side of things, e.g. what
are they, and how do they work, along with what is their application in the
supply chain world as a "101" level intro into various aspects of the CCG
for folks that want to learn about things like Verifiable Credentials,
their usage, and how they fit into the CCG.

This is, as you have called out, only a tiny piece of what is involved in
food and ag traceability: how do we record the properties of various
operations and components in the food and ag supply chain, independent of
the tracing (both forward and backward) aspects that then link change of
control and movement of items through the supply chain.  In practice (and
this will be touched on in the 101 discussion), VCs are one part of the
data being exchanged and stored, in addition to all of the movement data,
operations, and other items related to traceability.

VCs in supply chain are are typically related to (as in an inspection of a
particular pallet), or represent items (package of avocados) that are being
traced, and are largely independent of the method used to support the
traceability functionality itself, e.g. immutable ledgers storing change of
control or product movement, old school database stuff, etc  You can think
of the VCs in this case as representing the things that tracing is applied
to, along with metadata about those things.  Effectively they are a means
to enable better track and trace.

While the VCs and vocabulary items described in the Traceability Vocab
Specification themselves are a small piece of the traceability problem,
they are an important and fundamental base on which the rest of
traceability relies on, and by standardizing on a common language along
with providing the ability to verify and securely operate on items
described by that language we aid in building a path to where various
traceability solutions can better interoperate and exchange information
either across commodities, or between different legs on the supply chain.

For those interested in the broader issues surrounding traceability and
food safety, the FDA has done an excellent job at capturing many aspects of
traceability in relation to food safety, along with the data that must be
collected to support that traceability in the Proposed Traceability Rule
here:
https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/fsma-proposed-rule-food-traceability

I would note that our efforts at mesur.io are supporting the use of VCs to
represent data required by the proposed FDA rule, and that ultimately as
that rule is finalized, the Traceability Vocab will end up with VCs that
represent all aspects covered by the proposed rule, and we welcome
collaboration from folks like Bob who clearly also have some experience on
food safety and ag track and trace side of things on the Vocab itself:
https://github.com/w3c-ccg/traceability-vocab

Mike Prorock
CTO, Founder
https://mesur.io/



On Sun, Apr 18, 2021 at 9:41 AM Charles E. Lehner <
charles.lehner@spruceid.com> wrote:

> Dear CCG,
>
> I shared on the Secure Scuttlebutt Network about the upcoming "Intro to
> VCs in Supply Chain" and about the Traceability Vocab. Bob Haugen from
> Mikorizal Software responded with a question:
>
> > Looks to me like they are focusing on properties of
> > products-to-be-traced, possibly so the actual tracing does not need
> > to be done? Or not?
> >
> > Whereas Valueflows (and my previous experience in actual food supply
> > chains) focus on tracing backward through the recorded material
> > flows. https://valueflo.ws/appendix/track.html
> >
> > So if you had verifiable credentials of eg some food that was
> > poisoned (eg e. coli contamination), that fact would most likely be
> > verified (if at all) only at the point where the poison was
> > discovered, but not to the source of the contamination (feeding
> > animal body parts to other animals) which would most likely not have
> > been verified even then. But by tracing back to the source CAFO
> > (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) and in some cases source animal,
> > the cause might be determined, and then the destinations of the other
> > cuts of the same contaminated animal, or all animals from that CAFO,
> > could be found for a recall.
> >
> > The US Food and Drug Administration (and I expect similar
> > institutions in other countries) require all of those tracking and
> > tracing records to be preserved and available for reporting. The
> > tracking and tracing processes are then something like a web crawl
> > through links from one event to the previous or next events.s.
>
> > [...] But this would be an active issue for us if and only if we
> > are working with a network that wants to use VCs.
> >
> > P.S. my example above was a bit misleading. For feeding animal body
> > parts to other animals, the problem would be mad cow disease (chronic
> > wasting disease, or prions), and not e. coli.
>
> Would anyone have an answer or reference I could pass on to Bob? Or might
> this be addressed in the 101?
>
> Thanks,
> Charles
>
>
Received on Sunday, 18 April 2021 14:57:16 UTC

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